Thursday, June 24, 2004

Trek Theory

Court Won't Order Cheney Papers Released

Today's news that the Supreme Court won't be forcing Dick Cheney to turn over the records of his energy task force has me thinking that the Court may work a bit like the Star Trek movies. You know the theory, right? That the even-numbered movies are good, while the odd ones are terrible?

I think it works in reverse for the Court; in odd-numbered years, the members are inspired to do good work, while even-numbered (election) years bring with them some rulings we could do without. To wit: In 1957, the Court produced the Brown decision that mandated desegregation; in 1973, it produced Roe v. Wade; in 2003, it gave us the victory of Lawrence v. Texas. Meanwhile, in 2000 we got Bush v. Gore; in 1986 we had Bowers v. Hardwick (which Lawrence overturned); in 1896 we had Plessy v. Ferguson (which Brown overturned); in 2004 we have the Pledge case and this nonsense with Cheney.

I know there are huge holes in this theory, but it's amusing to me this morning to think that most of the cases I consider major victories have happened in odd years, while the ones that hurt progress tend to happen in even years.

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